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In a disaster, you would ideally be able to stay in your home and lay low until the danger passes. Many times, however, you may need to find somewhere safe to stay if your property becomes damaged or otherwise uninhabitable. Research the following options ahead of time so you will not be caught unprepared.

Coordinate With Neighbors or Family

You may find yourself in a situation where only your home is affected. Approach neighbors and family ahead of time to see if they would be interested in being each other’s safe spot in a time of need. Be courteous and do not overstay your welcome, of course.

Finding American Red Cross Shelters

If you have Internet or phone access during an emergency, the American Red Cross has a page to help you find local shelters. You can also search for loved ones and send them messages through this site.

You can register now with the National Shelter System and plan ahead since it lists the sites of 56,000 potential shelters.  This can prove to be useful since communication systems may be down, though they may end up not being used.

Sleep in Your Car

Your car can be a great place to keep you safe from the elements in a disaster.  It can also help you drive to a safer location if road conditions permit. Place an emergency pack like eFoodsDirect’s Grab & Go bag in the trunk to have food ready.  Include supplies like blankets, a first aid kit and road flares. Crack the windows if the weather is hot. If you are running the car (i.e. trying to keep warm), make sure the tailpipe is not obstructed so you don’t get poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Pitch a Tent

Make room in your emergency supplies for a tent whenever possible. Make sure you pack the instructions with it and practice pitching your tent ahead of time so you can set it up efficiently. This will help keep rain and snow from drenching your clothes, ward off light winds and provide a relatively safe place to sleep as long as you are aware of your surroundings.

Use a Tarp and Branch

If you have a tarp or any other kind of plastic sheet, you can sling it over a sturdy branch for a makeshift shelter. Use fishing line or rope to secure it to the ground when possible.

Find Natural Shelters

You may be able to find a natural shelter like a fallen tree or cave.  You can also use branches to construct a temporary home.

Scout around these before moving in, though.  Animals may have made their home in there and would not be pleased to find that you have set up shop. There may also be dangerous conditions present like loose rocks.

What kinds of shelters have you been able to find in a disaster?

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